Two-time Premiership and Foundation player, Laura Scherian will depart the Club following a seven-year career with Lightning.
The speedy mid-courter made her national debut in 2007 with the AIS Canberra Darters (in the Commonwealth Trophy) before going on to represent Australia at the World Youth Cup in the Cook Islands in 2009.
After playing for the Queensland Firebirds in 2010, Scherian signed with Lightning in its inaugural year and went on to win two Suncorp Super Netball Premierships and appear in five consecutive finals series.
Scherian represented Australia as a member of the 2018 Fast5 Flyers, and was called up to make her Australian Diamonds debut in 2019.
Scherian has been a leader in driving positive and meaningful community engagement, making a significant impact to the Sunshine Coast region and beyond over the last seven years, and was also the recipient of two Lightning Community Champion awards (2020 and 2022).
While negotiations continue between Netball Australia and the Australian Netball Players’ Association regarding the Collective Players Agreement, Scherian has been informed that she will not be offered a contract for the 2024 Suncorp Super Netball season.
Scherian said: “While the decision was not mine and I am disappointed with how my time at Lightning ended, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities and experiences.
“I believe life is about interactions with others and the little moments that matter. My journey at this Club has gifted me countless cherished memories and relationships with so many extraordinary individuals. This has not only shaped me as a player but also a person.
“The community’s love and unwavering support has been beyond words, and for this reason the Sunshine Coast has a special place in my heart! I will miss the community events, I truly loved this part of being a Lightning player.
“Although it’s not the way I wanted it to end and it hurts, I can be grateful for experiencing something many others dream of.”
Storm Group, and Lightning CEO Justin Rodski said Scherian has been instrumental in the Club’s success and leaves a lasting legacy at Lightning.
“Laura is a legend of the Club and has made a remarkable impact on the Sunshine Coast community since she was first named a Foundation player in 2017,” he said.
“She will always be a Lightning person, and leaves a lasting legacy for the role she played in building the culture, and setting the standards of our Club.
“Laura is a hard-working athlete and one that is highly respected by her peers — notably for her speed, skills and work ethic.
“As a two-time Premiership winner and major contributor to the Club’s success over the last seven years, she should feel immensely proud of all that she has achieved during her time at Lightning.
“I wish her nothing but the best for what she decides to do next, and she will always be part of the Lightning family.”
Lightning Head Coach Belinda Reynolds said Scherian will leave her mark at Lightning as a fierce competitor on the court and an influential contributor to the holistic success of the club.
“Laura is a legend of our Club and a much-loved member of the Sunshine Coast community,”
“After playing at Lightning since it’s inception, she has been a major contributor to the Club’s success and leaves a great legacy of energy and passion for the Club.”
Inaugural Head Coach Noeline Taurua said Scherian will be remembered as not only one of Lightning’s hardest working players, but also a person who consistently demonstrated the Club’s values.
“Laura’s netball journey has been extraordinary and she is an inspiration to youngsters to never give up. Her pathway is a story of tenacity, of work ethic and definitely training ethic, persistence and being open to learning,” she said.
“On the court Laura was a mid-court maestro. She brought impressive speed, game-smarts, deception and leadership qualities. She was the glue that gelled the team together.
“Off court Laura was a fan favourite. Her beautiful personality and passion she had for the Club showed through in everything she did.
“Laura is a good story. She should be proud of what she has achieved so far.”
Scherian departs Lightning with a number of accolades and achievements to her name, including:
- 2017 — SSN Premiership
- 2017 — Team Spirit Award
- 2018 — SSN Premiership
- 2019 — Australian Diamonds debut
- 2020 — Community Champion
- 2022 — 100-game milestone
- 2022 — Members’ Player of the Year
- 2022 — Community Champion
- 2022 — Club Person of the Year
- 2023 — 100 Lightning games